Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, August 3, 2009

Michael Savage + The New Yorker = What the Hell?

Posted By and on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge msavage.jpg
San Francisco, a city quite accustomed to ostentatious displays of affection, this past week has played host to one so shocking that locals have felt compelled to look the other way.

We're talking about the love-fest between the left-wing intelligentsia at The New Yorker magazine, and Michael Savage, the San Francisco-based shock jock with the eclectically hateful right-wing shtick.

If things continue proceeding in this direction, we're concerned that things may return to what passed for normal during the 1970s when Savage honed his polemicist's craft by writing homoerotic mash letters to beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

In the August 3 New Yorker, writer Kelefa Sanneh wrote a seven-page profile of Savage that  could be summed up as "just because Savage is a mean talker doesn't mean he's a bad talker."

To wit: "What he gives listeners is one of the most addictive programs on radio."

On July 27, soon after the August 3 New Yorker issue had hit doorsteps, Savage returned the love on his radio show.

"I'm reading as a kid now in college, and I'm seeing there's Profiles," he said, as quoted on a blog. "I'm going to go back now to the early list. Profiles of people done by The New Yorker in the times I was in college.Federico Fellini, 1965; Bob Dylan, 1964; Albert Einstein, 1973 [part I and part II]; Dizzy Gillespie, 1990; Mort Sahl they profiled in 1960; Stanley Kubrick is profiled in 1966; Buckminster Fuller is profiled in 1966 .... One of my favorite Profiles was of a guy you never hear of named Joe Gould, who was a well-known Greenwich Village bohemian. I loved that Profile so much, it actually stayed with me for ages, for some reason."

If this passion continues growing between Savage and his purported left-wing enemies, could we see a return to a 1970s version of normalcy, when Savage -- still known as Michael Wiener -- was struggling to gain entrance to San Francisco's North Beach Bohemia by writing graphic love notes to his idol, Ginsberg?

In the summer of 2006 SF Weekly sleuth Ron Russell plumbed the stacks in the Ginsberg collection at Stanford University and found the Wiener letters. In one, Wiener tells Ginsberg he's been enjoying graphic sexual fantasies about the poet he now describes for radio listeners as a sicko communist.

"Watched a tourist from New Zealand taking pictures of Fijian people in the marketplace [and] thought of inserting my camera's lens in your A-hole to photograph the walls of your rectum. I really do apologize, but the thought did occur," Wiener wrote.

Given all the loving and kissing going on right now between Savage and the left, it seems but a matter of time before the radio talker will be offering the services of his talented lips to, say,  Michael Moore.

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

About The Authors

Matt Smith


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"